Effective Strep suis vaccine key to minimising antibiotic use in pigs

Scientists are confident the development of an effective vaccine to prevent Streptococcus suis will help reduce the need for antibiotics in pork production.
calendar icon 23 April 2020
clock icon 3 minute read

"Presently Strep suis can only be controlled by the use of antibiotics, either prophylactic, metaphylactic or by treatment," explains Dr Gottschalk in an interview with Farmscape.

"There is no commercial vaccine available and the use of antibiotics in the last years has increased the resistance level of these pathogens.

"Indeed the genes causing the antibiotic resistance are more and more present in the Strep suis and this can be transmitted not only between different strains of the Strep suis but it can be transmitted to other pathogens, even those that affect humans.

"The antibiotic resistance is really a problem so the object of this programme is to develop a vaccine able to protect pigs against the disease.

"Having a vaccine will reduce the use of antibiotics.

"It should be said that antibiotic use are mostly in categories one and two.

"These categories of antibiotics are those also used in humans so we need to reduce the use in animals with the objective of reducing antibiotic resistance in bacteria that may also affect humans."

Dr Gottschalk says most producers involved in "raised without antibiotics" programmes will tell you Strep suis is the main challenge to the survival of such systems.

vet administers vaccine to young piglet next to farrowing crate
There is no commercial vaccine available for Strep suis and the use of antibiotics in the last years has increased the resistance level of these pathogens
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